Although one of Canada’s biggest country music stars, Johnny Reid strays from the traditional country sound more often than not. The Scottish-born Canadian played three sold out shows this October in Manitoba and demonstrated his versatility and talent on stage every night. Johnny captured audiences with his nine-piece band, including a three-piece horn section and two back up singers, who offered up two hours of heartfelt ballads and soulful R & B tunes. His sound is not what most consider country, but what makes his music fall into that genre is his songwriting. Johnny finds much of his inspiration from love, family, relationships and all the things that country music is known for. His openness and genuine character are visible on stage as he chats with the audience like old friends between songs. Johnny’s popularity with Canadian fans could have made selling out a huge venue easy, but instead he chooses more intimate theaters to create a more personal experience. Johnny has a sincere appreciation for his fans, and maybe that comes from years of playing shows in clubs and casinos. The man is definitely getting the recognition he deserves with Junos, CCMA’s and currently the No 1 album in the country. In his thick-Scottish accent Johnny addressed the crowd in Manitoba explaining the meaning in his songs, joking about his early casino days, and chatting about his family. He truly has mastered the art of performing as he combined the perfect amount of dance, soul, ballads and tear-jerkers into the night. His honesty and love for his work is undeniable and it makes catching one of Johnny Reid’s shows something everyone should make time for.